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10th-century stone tablet reveals Confucian teachings in ancient China

Updated: Aug 2, 2022 govt.chinadaily.com.cn Print
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One side of the fragment stone from the Later Shu, with texts of the Confucian classics and corresponding notes carved in regular script on it. [Photo/IC]

In ancient China, if the country was in a stable and rich state, the central government would order to carve Confucian classics on stone, known as Stone Classics, to promote education.

Fragments of a stone stele carved with Confucian classics dating to the Later Shu (934-965) were unearthed in Southwest China’s Chengdu in 1938. The Later Shu was a relatively stable kingdom in the warring China due to its advantageous geographical conditions. On one fragment piece, texts of the Confucian classics together with corresponding notes were carved on both sides of the blackstone slab in regular script.

Kept in the permanent collection of the Sichuan Museum, this piece of Stone Classics confirms that Sichuan has been a fertile ground for literati to flourish.

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